Current Reviews


Amazing Spider-Man #578

Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2008
By: Steven M. Bari

Mark Waid
Marcos Martin, Javier Rodriguez (c)
Marvel Comics
"Unscheduled Stop" (part 1)

In the usual Spider-Man fashion, Peter Parker receives a good omen only to experience the worst possible scenario. Apparently, when a fortune cookie reads, "Today will be your lucky day," you'll end up beneath the rubble of a collapsed subway tunnel in Brooklyn with twelve innocent straphangers and no way out. With the Shocker in pursuit. And the Hudson River leaking from the ceiling.

Moral of the story? Never trust what food tells you.

Waid continues to broaden our hero's sexual horizon. Here, Peter is ejected by a police officer from a subway car, only to be entreated by a comely woman in the adjoining car. When the beautiful subway rider reveals to Peter that she is wearing barely anything underneath her coat (which happens all the time on the 2 train), Waid times the dialogue slowly and methodically, as Marcos Martin paces it over eight panels while she sexily pouts. Martin draws out Peterís silent reaction over two panels, leaving the reader open to interpret what thoughts beside discomfort and disbelief are running through his head. Waid and Martin take the time to expand Peter's New York life, even noting danger wears many masks and sometimes "hardly anything" at all.

What really got my attention this issue, however, was Martinís New York. The subway station Peter enters reads ďClark Street.Ē Although there is such a station on the 2 and 3 lines, it does not look like that. Martin's "Clark Street Station" is actually a conglomeration of the real Clark Street and Borough Hall Stations. Why does this matter? Martin photo-realistically captures the terrain in his Ditko-like style.

Although he smoothes over intricacies of design, Martin manages to convey the reality of the actual place even if it is a composite. As a New Yorker, Iím surprised when comic book artist go to such lengths for authenticity when it is so easy to go the Sex and the City route with an establishing shot of some New York landmark in every scene. Itís a beautiful layer of depth.

Final Word: Hilarious dialogue. Excellent art. Amazing issue.

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